ESPN's Keith Law writes that the Pirates are considering a variety of players with the top overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, and that if they don't end up selecting UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole, he could fall as far as the No. 5 overall pick, which is held by the Royals:
Jack (DC): Any sense that G.Cole falls out of the top 3?
Klaw (1:16 PM): Possible. If the Pirates don't take him at 1 - I know Huntington has seen him more than once, but they're looking at other options including Rendon and Hultzen - I think Cole goes 5 to KC.
There are a couple interesting dimensions to Law's answer. The first is in his guess about who Neal Huntington and the Pirates might select. In addition to Cole, Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon and Virginia pitcher Danny Hultzen, the Pirates could be considering other options as well.
Rendon, by the way, is probably still the favorite, followed by Cole. Other players - Hultzen, Kansas high school outfielder Bubba Starling - seem to linger far behind, based on everything I've read so far.
The second interesting idea is that Cole could fall that far. Rendon and Cole are widely regarded as the top overall talents in the draft, and many commentators think that the Mariners, with the No. 2 overall pick, will simply take the guy the Pirates pass on. We'll see whether that happens.